Painting With (Domino)
Part of us isn’t sure we can call Animal Collective a Baltimore band anymore, but part of us says we always will. (Merriweather Post Pavilion forever.) Regardless, we plan to claim them now, thanks to the local trio’s awesome new album, their first full-length venture since 2012. It’s also their most accessible (and just plain fun) since we first fell in love with “My Girls” in 2009. Maybe you’ve already heard it on a surprise loop at BWI last fall, but if you didn’t, get on it quick—once again, these indie stars are crafting a funky, fresh, spin art-colorful kind of sound. “FloriDada,” in particular, is pure sunshine.
Caleb Stine & The Brakemen
Time I Let It Go (self-released)
For over 10 years, Caleb Stine and his Brakemen (an homage to rail workers of eras past) have been putting out the kind of traveling music fit for any road trip you might find yourself embarking on. After a few solo records from Stine, the quartet recently released its first new album since 2008, with all the Americana stories and backwoods confidence we’ve come to love. With toe-tapping giddy-ups like “Hey There Mister”; slow, sweet anthems like “Spirit”; and the lovely, dust-covered instrumental “You Bet He Was My Friend”, the album’s got us itching for the windows-down weather of spring.